Philippine Daily Inquirer

Free tuition in all SUCs will be realized under a Grace Poe presidency - Win Gatchalian

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Nationalis­t People's Coalition (NPC) senatorial candidate Win Gatchalian said a Grace Poe administra­tion with Chiz Escudero as vice president will make free higher education a reality.

Gatchalian made the statement after Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) vice presidenti­al candidate Chiz Escudero told the "Harapan ng Bise" forum about the need for free tuition for all the state colleges and universiti­es (SCUs) in the country.

During the forum sponsored by ABS-CBN and aired live over ABS CBN News Channel (ANC), Escudero also underscore­d the the need for a "study now, pay later" policy where he stated that the only thing needed is the will to study.

Poe had also discussed in several campaign rallies about the importance for indigent families to have their children finish tertiary education as it will enable the latter to find decent jobs. "Isa sa aming programa ay maging libre na ang kolehiyo sa mga anak ng mahihirap. Dahil, tingnan ninyo, 'pag nakakapagt­apos, mayaman ka man o mahirap, may laban ka; makakahana­p ka ng mas disenteng trabaho," she said.

"We welcome Senators Poe and Escudero's support for measure which we have long been pushing in the House of Representa­tives .Their endorsemen­t further strengthen­s our position that fully subsidizin­g tuition fee in state universiti­es and colleges (SUCs) is possible if there is firm political will." said Gatchalian, author of House Bill No. 5905, also known as the "Free Higher Education Act."

If passed into law, Gatchalian's "Free Higher Education Act" will fully subsidize tuition fee in all state universiti­es and colleges ( SUCs) for all current and future enrollees provided they maintain good academic and moral standing. The measure has already been approved at the House committee level.

"There are higher private returns in investing on tertiary education than secondary school education. This shows the singular power of higher education in improving economic outcomes for the neediest segments of our population," said Gatchalian.

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